Secrets and lies
I had a date on Sunday night with a gentleman from the internet. It goes without saying that we had never met before and this was to be our first encounter. It started slowly, with probably much hesitation on both our parts. There is that tendency to hold back one’s true character for at least a little while on such a first meeting. All that we knew of each other is what we had put into our rather two-dimensional profiles. A brief email and phone call had been used as merely an instrument to meet face to face. After a drink, he proposed a meal, an idea that I am rather averse to for first meetings. But, I decided to plunge on regardless.
We shared a reasonable pub meal, and a glass or two of wine. Definitely had some laughs, and probably checked each other out, as subtly as one can. During the course of the dinner, he said “This has been really nice - A lovely meal and lovely company.” All signs were looking good for date number two.
But then it came. As we said goodnight, he said, “I’ll call you.” It was then that I knew that he wouldn’t and true to form – he hasn’t. I am getting better at this dating thing – well not at the actual dating – but certainly, I know when they aren’t going to ring and don’t have to feel so disappointed!
The following night, I went out to dinner again with a lovely gentleman. He of the aforementioned languorous eyes and admiring glances. As per usual, we had a delightful time, with some giggling over my “skills” and hushed inferences of his own particular abilities. But then the waiter came over to clear plates, and my date asked him as to his country of origin. The waiter eagerly responded, to which my date said, “Oh yes, my girlfriend is from that region.”
Now I knew about the girlfriend. I have always known about her – hell, I have Googled her. But we have never talked about her. At his statement, I felt no need to comment or add to the moment. When the waiter took leave of us, my date (hmmm… really got to give him a name) looked awkwardly at the table and said, “I shouldn’t have said that.” Probably an understatement. Nevertheless, I decided to again keep silent, which then of course forced him to break the silence by continuing his monologue. “I don’t know why I still persist with it: we never see each other”, he said, almost apologetically. Externally I remained aloof, but in my head I was screaming, “Oh God… the next thing he is going to say is ‘My wife/girlfriend doesn’t understand me’, and then how will I stop from guffawing with laughter at the cheesiness!”
To my disappointment, and probably in his best interests, he did not continue in this vain. Although I did feel the need to add, “Well, it is clear that you aren’t as faithful to her as you probably should be.” He nodded and fell quiet for a moment. Soon enough, our conversation returned to its usual cheery banter.
And then before we said good night, he said he would call me. And, despite the far-off presence of a girlfriend, I know he will call. He is reliable like that.